tv The Situation Room CNN February 8, 2013 4:00pm-7:00pm EST
she will continue rehab in her family's new home in england. that is it for me for now. we hope you come back at midnight where i will be here with our team as the worst of the blizzard hits between the 10:00, 11:00, and overnight hours. i will be up with you from midnight until 5:00 a.m. i hope you join me. in the meantime, stay right here because "the situation room" with wolf blitzer starts now. wolf. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, the storm's picking up and forecasters say boston's going to get clobbered. we're going to talk with one of the country's top blizzard experts. out in california, authorities say there's no panic as the manhunt continues for a suspected cop killer. you're going to hear from a man who knew him and even called him a friend at one point. and mystery solved. you're going to find out why the lights went out during the super bowl. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the latest forecasts are in
and this could be one of the worst storms on record with 40 million -- 40 million people in its path across the northeast. snow is falling, shelves are cleared, airports shut down. in boston it's already snowing heavily and the worst of the storm will hit in about an hour when it's dumped up to 30 inches of snow may pile up. we have cnn crews and reporters out in force covering every angle of this breaking story. forecasters say boston is likely to to be plastered with 30 as much as 40 inches of snow. let's start there. susan candiotti is watching the situation. looks like it's coming down pretty seriously, susan. >> reporter: oh, it sure is. but you know what, wolf? the worst is yet to come. right now, yes, we are feeling the beginning of the storm. but the worst of it should be hitting overnight when we will have mere whiteout conditions.
now, remember, this is an area where they are getting blizzard warnings that will remain in effect until saturday afternoon. right now it feels like pellets, cold pellets hitting your face, similar to a hurricane, although obviously much colder than that. businesses have been closed, schools have been closed all day, transit systems shut down. and these are new englanders, includes bostonians who are used to these blizzard conditions. they remember the great blizzard of 1978, another bad storm in 2005. if you look at the store shelves, they are empty. people are supposed to stay home and they are not messing around. in fact, the governor of the state says, as of this hour, if you are caught driving on any road in the state of massachusetts, and you have no business being out there, you could be thrown in jail for up to a year and certainly face serious fines. said, we're not trying to be funny about this and fill up the jails. we're trying to prove to you
that we mean business. now, for a look at what's happening in providence, rhode island, let's go to my colleague, poppy harlow. >> reporter: hey there, susan. well, i've got to tell you, no messing around here either. the governor here in rhode island calling this a state of emergency. but i just want to take our viewers and show them, guys, this is rush hour. this is rush hour in downtown providence, rhode island. rare that you see a car going by. almost every business, city hall, everything is closed here, just like in massachusetts, the governor in connecticut also having that 4:00 ban on any cars and i wouldn't be surprised if it happens here very soon as well. i want to take you on our journey getting here. we just arrived here. it took us over five hours to get here from new york city, a trip that really shouldn't take any more than three hours. along the way, very slow going, light traffic. lots of snow plows but also some very serious accidents. we saw a jackknifed
tractor-trailer that ran right into the median. we saw a huge semi that just fell off the side of the highway. we took a picture of that for you guys. that was consistent all the way up here. if you head up to maine, i want to show you some pretty dramatic video in maine. a 19-car pileup in maine. bottom line, the governor saying not a time for sightseeing, not a time for playing around. this is very, very serious. in 1978, 27 inches of snow, 26 deaths. they think this storm could be as bad or worse and we're not even there yet. let's go to alison kosik. she's live in new york. alison? >> reporter: hi, poppy. the snoi w is coming down and hitting my face. new york city is going into overdrive preparing for what is on the way. now, the brunt of the storm is expected to get here around 7:00. that's when you're going to see most of the accumulation.
that's when the winds will more steadily pick up. at least that's what is expected. hundreds of snow employeplows a the ready. 6,000 miles of roadways not only here in the city but the surrounding boroughs. new york's mayor is hoping to avoid a replay of the blizzard of 2010, when this city got 20 inches and it was ill-prepared for that. one thing that has happened today, a lot of employers have let their employees go a little earlier because the brunt of the storm is expected to hit right around rush hour at 7:00. so a lot of employees are on their way home because the worry is, if the storm gets bad enough, there is a chance that mass transit trains could shut down and 8 1/2 million people come and go on those trains every day. the goal is to get those people
home as early as possible. wolf? >> great goal. let's hope that they can achieve it. guys, thanks very much. let's get the latest on the forecast right now. our meteorologist chad myers is in the cnn weather center in atlanta. chad, what is the forecast? >> the forecast for boston and connecticut, rhode island, all of vermont, new hampshire, it's all snow. you are seeing these pellets, that is underdeveloped snow. it's not really hail, it's snow. it is just kind of a snowy ball. when you get that snowy ball, be it won't pile up as much so you won't get the 27 inches if you get those grapple pellets. i think 20, 30 inches is still possible for eastern massachusetts, providence, and probably hartford, connecticut. new york city has been mixing on and off rain and snow mix all day long. long island has been a rain mess for most of the day and even
into stat ten een island. all of this will turn over to snow. you're seeing snow now in new hampshire. that will pile up 20 inches easy. the farther you are to the east, the longer you will be in the storm's path. that means you're going to get the storm for longer. here's the storm at 6:00. directly due south of rhode island. by tonight at midnight, this is when it's the worst. this is the closest approach. this is when a fire hose, i've been calling it, of snow comes in. like a snow machine on a ski slope pours on from portland down into new hampshire, boston, and fills in with these 10 to 15-inch snowfalls. we will get two to three inches of snowfall per hour and, wolf, i know someone out there -- ireporters will take pictures or at least video of thundersnow tonight. it will had come down that hard for people at some of these times. >> i've never heard of thundersnow and i grew up in
buffalo, new york. chad myers, stick around. a blizzard expert is joining us here in "the situation room" right now from the national weather service. he's the assistant administrator. he's about to become the director of the national weather service. louie, thank you for coming in. >> thank you for having me. >> you've studied blizzards, '78 in boston, 77 in buffalo. how bad is this one? >> this storm has a potential to be a very dangerous storm and given the amount of snowfall, especially up in new england, it will rank in the top ten, top five storms in that area. >> ever? >> ever. >> since they started keeping these records? >> since the late 1880s. >> when you say new england, that's a big area. where do you think it's going to be the worst? >> from eastern connecticut, rhode island, up into southwestern maine. clearly as the storm, be which is now rapidly developing off the east coast, wraps up southeast of new england, it will pull the snow back in and
will funnel the heaviest snowfall into that area. and whether we get thundersnow or not, we expect these bands to form and within those bands we will be seeing two to three inches per hour. >> and then we're talking about wind -- wind gusts will be pretty significant? >> yes. that's what makes the storm particularly dangerous. as the low develops and as it intensifies, we're going to have very strong winds. we're predicting wind gusts along the coast to be approaching hurricane-force winds. so obviously you mix those strong winds with the heavy snow and you're going to get whiteout conditions in a large area, we believe, in the same area where they are going to get the heavy snow. >> i want chad myers to join in this conversation. chad, i know you have a question for louis. >> yes. it was proven by this storm 4 1/2 days ago that the european model had it right on the money.
what will you do to make it as good as what they are putting out? >> two points. you're right. the european model was the first model to lock in to the track of this storm and keep it closer to the coast. i should emphasize that the forecasters who are making the forecast for this storm five, six, seven days in advance are using what we call an ensemble mix. it's clear that that model had the headway on this one. we already have plans on transferring our models to a brand-new super computer, the ibm data plex. that will allow us to run our models at high resolution and we know that this is a main issue with our models compared to the european center. even with this new computer, we will not be up to the resolution that they run their models. >> have you seen some major changes in the past few hours as far as the movement of this
storm or storms, as we probably should call it? >> actually, the storm is following a track and the development that we predicted a number of days ago, as chad pointed to. and it's developing according to script. it's going through a very intense phase, developing phase now. we expect it to be turning slightly to the right to put it in a position off the southeast new england coast, which is a very dangerous spot for new england. very heavy snowfall and strong winds. the other thing i'd like to notice is that the waves along the coast -- >> the surge? >> no, the waves themselves could be approaching 15 to 20 feet along the coast and just off the coast we're predicting wave heights greater than 30 feet. so nobody wants to be out in that water with this storm. >> i hope so. chad, you have another question? >> i have more of a statement. i just want to say how thankful the meteorologist community in america is that you are now our new director. such a distinguished career. we are happy to have you and
congratulations. a well-deserved promotion. >> thank you very much, chad. >> you're going to stay with us. we have more questions and especially practical questions about the dangers out there. a lot of people forget in '78, in that boston blizzard, how many people died? >> over 100. >> yeah. so there's a lot of risk out there. this is very dangerous and he's going to stay with us and give us some advice. chad is going to stay with us as well. don't forget, you can track every minute of this storm on cnn.com/weather. go there. see what's going on. we're keeping our eyes on this monster storm. we're also following the ongoing manhunt in california right now. we have new information coming in to "the situation room" from the lapd as well as a close friend from the accused cop killer to tell us about who christopher dorner really is.
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snoof now to southern california where the hunt for a cop killer has grown to a 200-mile area. police are doubling up. they are watching each other's back as they search for the ex-police officer, christopher dorner. he's linked to three murders since monday. miguel marquez is joining us with the latest. what's the latest, miguel? >> reporter: they are searching across a very wide swalth of southern california. the entire state is on lockdown. police here -- this is the hollywood station. they have blocked off the street here. police are watching for this man. they have no idea where he'll strike next. in the mountains east of l.a., a feverish search in big bear, despite near whiteout conditions. >> we're going to continue to several primarily up in the mountain area to make sure there's a lot of cabins up there
abandoned to make sure he didn't find a place to hide out for the night. >> reporter: today, parts of southern california on lockdown. some 17 million people terrorized by an ex-cop on a murderous rampage. >> it's kind of scary. you don't know where he is. we have friends that live all over the mountain. there is concern about them and officers, too. >> reporter: police stations undin the city under guard. families of policemen are under guard, too. thousands called on to duty. tension to high, twitch chee l.a. police officers shoot up a pickup truck resembling dorner. it wasn't. inside, a 71-year-old daughtmotd her daughter delivering newspapers. monica quan, the daughter of a
police official and her fee yan say shot and killed. on wednesday, near san diego, dorner tried to steal a boat. on thursday, 1:25 a.m. in corona, dorner allegedly fires on to two police officers. one is slightly injured. 20 minutes later in riverside, two officers ambushed at a stoplight. again, dorner suspected. one officer dies, the other hospitalized. now, it's not clear where dorner is at this point. police up in the hills east of here saying that they are going to keep searching the area until they find out if he's there. law enforcement fear he may have fled and may be elsewhere. there has been false alarm after false alarm. the most recent one at the downtown sheriff's office detention center. this is a place where people are on tender hooks throughout
today. >> i would assume not just there but people in southern california, from l.a. down to san diego, people are very nervous about what is going on. >> reporter: yeah. the fact that he tried to steal that boat down in san diego suggests he may have been trying to get to mexico so that is one of the possibilities that people are working on. but in nevada, in arizona, authorities there are also on the lookout. there is this very, very high tension across a huge swath of the country today. wolf? >> miguel, thanks very much. in just a few minutes, a close friend of christopher dorner's will join us in "the situation room." he has a message for the suspect. you're going to hear it. that's coming up. of course, we're continuing to watch the northeast blizzard. a close look at how it's impacting people thousands of miles away. stay with us. [ male announcer ] zzzquil™ sleep-aid.
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take a look at this. these are live pictures coming in from boston. boston, massachusetts. it's only just beginning. they are expecting at least 24 inches of snow, maybe even more. state of emergency has already been declared in three states, massachusetts, rhode island, and connecticut. we're watching all of this very, very closely. we'll go back to the snow, the blizzard in just a moment. he's charged with misusing campaign money and now there is word of a deal for the former congressman jesse jackson jr. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on with this front? >> sources close to jesse jackson jr.'s family tell cnn he has signed a plea deal.
he was being investigated and significant prison time. lawyers representing jackson have not returned phone calls from cnn. the pakistani teen activist shot in the head by the taliban is out of the hospital. this is surgery of her after doctors repaired two operations to repair her skull and hearing. the 15-year-old will continue her rehabilitation at the family's temporary home in england. taliban shot her in the head for speaking out in favor of girl's education. and in other news, boeing is warning customers, their deliveries of 787 dreamliners may be delayed as an investigation continues into problems with the jet's batteries. european carriers and norwegian air say they were told not to expect their fleet on time.
the dream liner was grounded for three weeks following problems with battery fires. take a look at this. a high-speed chase ends in a firery crash in california. the car spun out of control and hit a guardrail in the royal hearts section of l.a. officers were chasing a suspected drunk driver who they say was speeding at more than 100 miles an hour. they were able to get him out of the burning car and to the hospit. no word on his condition. 100 miles per hour. >> lucky to be alive. >> lucky to be alive and that he didn't kill anyone. >> lisa, thanks. a warning from the governor of massachusetts, stay off the road or else. boston expected to feel the brunt of this blizzard. we're heading there next. ♪
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new york state as this historic snowstorm continues to hammer the northeast. 25 to 30 inches of snow are possible tonight from hartford, connecticut, to boston, new york city expecting five to ten inches. basically, the farther east you live, the more snow you'll get. the incoming head of the national weather service tells us there could be whiteout conditions over a large area. the boston line, this is a very dangerous storm and the worst of it will hit tonight. we're watching all of this unfold. the governor of massachusetts earlier ordered everyone, except emergency vehicles, off the road. the ban just went into effect right at the top of the hour. boston could get, once again, more than two feet, more than 24 inches of snow. cnn producer julian cummings is joining us on the phone right now. he's in boston. what are you seeing, julian? >> hi, wolf.
the roads are getting less and less filled with vehicles. they are getting very, very slick and it's slowly turning into that ghost town feel. you can see clouds coming up, a steady flow of plows. we're definitely seeing less and less people out in boston. >> so there's nobody except for emergency vehicles are allowed to be on the road. you're on the road right now. i assume they've given you special permission for the news media? >> yes, news media is exempt from that. we're going as slow as possible and staying out of the way of vehicles as well. >> and these are live pictures that you're showing us. is that fenway park? >> that is fenway park on your right. they are making sure that it is plowed. lots of boston sports fan -- even though it's the off season, want to make sure fans can get to fenway. >> they lived through a big storm in 1978, more than 100
people died as a result of that. are they taking this seriously? what's the mood there? >> people we have spoke to said it's february, it's snowing. they treat today as a normal day but they are also aware that the city is going to close down early and people are respecting that, for the most part. >> are they worried about outages, how we are outages as a result, not only of the snow but of the wind which is going to be intenses as chad myers was telling us? >> yeah. the people that we spoke to, they are getting supplies ready. i think everyone has hurricane sandy in their memory, what happened there. but people definitely were looking at it as a snowstorm and looking forward as well to what happens when it stops snowing and the wind really has not picked up yet, from what i can feel. we're driving and we're slipping a little bit but we're not being blown around as of yet. >> we're going to check back in with you, julian. julian is showing live pictures
from his vehicle that we're seeing in boston. just be careful driving there. it's going to get icy, slippery very, very soon. let's go to poppy harlow in rhode island. i know the governor has declared a state of emergency. >> reporter: he absolutely has. thank you for joining us. you have some news about i-95, the road that we just took to get up here. apparently we got here just in time, right? >> yes. those roads are fairly empty right now but we have imposed a travel restriction on 95 that you mentioned, 195 and 259. we also added 146 and 24. those roads have travel advisories on them. >> reporter: so you are basically shutting them down along to massachusetts and connecticut. i saw firsthand how tough the driving was. we saw jackknifed
tractor-trailers and semis falling off the side of the road. it's no joke here. how many plows do you have out there on the road? >> we couldn't be more prepared because we had so much advanced warning and that's good. our big fear is power outages. you can see this wet snow. it's about 33 degrees and with that heavy, wet snow, if the wind kicks up and brings down trees and power lines, that's our fear. we're going to clear the streets. but if people get out of power with low temperature, that's what we fear. >> reporter: that begs the question after sandy and new york city, power being out for weeks on end and that wasn't even the winter. how prepared is national grid, your many provider? >> they are prepared. i saw a crew here at the hotel that i was visiting. they were here from philadelphia, pennsylvania, the men i talked to. and we're ready but you have to clear the roads and then wait for the wind to subside and then get the electricity back on.
so with the low temperatures, be as you mentioned, that are forecast, that's our big fear. let's hope we don't have those high winds and this heavy snow and bring down power lines. >> there have been some early predictions of wind gusts that could hit 60 miles per hour. we're very close to the water. we'll see what happens. shelters, any availability there if people lose power? >> we've had hurricane sandy, hurricane irene. before that we had a number of snowstorms. so we're working with our red cross. we're well prepared with our shelters but it doesn't minimize the challenge we'll have if we have power outages and low temperatures. >> wolf, you want to jump in here, any questions for the governor? >> yes. first of all, do you need any federal assistance or do you envision needing any federal assistance and part two of the question, national guard. i notice a few thousand national guard crews have been there to help. what's going on with those two fronts? >> our federal delegation, our two congressman and two senators, we've been on a conference call with them.
we've pledged to work with the federal government if we need it. our national guardsmen are ready if we need it. similar to connecticut. there's been a lot of hype here, which is good. so we couldn't be better prepared. >> and are the people -- >> reporter: governor, appreciate -- >> are the people in connecticut appreciative of how potentially dangerous this blizzard could be, given the fact that in '78 you lived through that period, so did i, more than 100 people died. >> yes, that was different because it came so fast. we had so much warning on this one i think it's different. there's a lot of preparation here. i think the roads just came up at 95 to do this interview. they were practically empty. i think people are using commonsense. let's hope that continues. >> reporter: downtown is literally empty. i think that's what we're going to see throughout the night as the storm picks up.
we'll be here for you live throughout it all. governor, thank you. wolf frk back to you. >> poppy, all traffic has been barred except for emergency vehicles? >> reporter: right. this is what we're seeing in boston and connecticut, that as of 4:00 p.m. all of the traffic was banned and literally you could go to jail and face a pretty severe fine. i see a few cars here. that's not the case here? >> yes. ours is going to take place at 5:00. that's coming up soon. we have a lot of exceptions. media, official duties, health care workers reporting for work at hospitals and the like. we have a number of broad exceptions. so i advise people to look at that online and see what we have. >> reporter: is there a penalty of jail time if people are on the road? >> i think we'll use our commonsense. >> reporter: right. >> we'll be sensitive to the emergency in place here. if somebody is going to be a repeat infractions offender, yeah, they could get heavy fines. >> reporter: all right. stay off the roads, bottom line.
thank you, governor. wolf? airport and state officials all take their cue from the national weather service. coming up, i'll speak with the incoming director of the national weather service, louis uccellini. we're going to find out what goes into coordinating a massive response for such a massive storm. and only at officemax stores!
looking at a live picture from new york city's columbus picture right outside time-warner's headquarters in new york city. not much traffic. as you can see, people are hopefully inside because it's only going to get worst in the next few hours in boston, rhode island, connecticut, elsewhere in the northeast.
the national weather service is bringing in top experts in winter storms. louis uccellini is here. he gets sworn in sunday. what time? >> early in the morning. >> you'll be busy all weekend talking about this. they just declared a state of emergency, the governor, andrew cuomo, in new york. what does that mean as far as the national weather service is concerned? >> well, we provide the forecast to the emergency management community from the federal, through the state, to the local levels through our various forecast offices. and we provide them the weather information. they make the decisions, all of the decisions on the steps that need to be taken before, during, and after the storm. >> we just heard from lincoln, the governor of rhode island. he said this is different than the one in '78. in '78 they said they didn't get much warning and this one they had days to prepare. do you agree with that
assessment? >> in '78 we made a good forecast but beforehand we made a few forecast busts so people didn't heed the forecast. and it came in late. people went to work and it started snowing and people cot trapped. we've had a very consistent forecast, five days, four days, three days, two days, one day in advance. a very consistent message that is provided from all of our forecasting offices, they've reacted accordingly. >> and you say that this upcoming blizzard, the one that is beginning right now, will compare to the one in '78. as you point out, more than 100 people were killed. >> well, in terms of the apt of snowfall in new england, the very strong winds, we're predicting that the wind gusts along the coast could approach hurricane-force winds, we'll have a very similar situation that we had in '78. two to three feet of snow is possible from connecticut up through eastern massachusetts
into southwest maine. so it's going to be a very dangerous storm. in that regard, the fact that people are heeding the advice of their governors, mayors, local officials and are staying indoors and are getting cars off the street before the main storm hits, it's exactly what you need to not only prepare for the storm but to then trust and recover afterwards. >> of the 100 people who doied in '78, what was the cause of those deaths? >> people trap trapped in their cars, exposure, deaths related to moving snow. people were putting themselves at ris are being by going out immediately before that storm. >> so the most important advice you have for viewers watching in the northeast right now is -- >> heed the advice of the public officials. they don't do this all the time. and when they do this, they mean it. they are doing it to save your life. so it's best to stay off the roads and it also allows them to recover a lot faster after the storm and get you back into your
normal life. >> so when a governor or mayor says, you can't drive, if you're seen on the road, if you're not an emergency vehicle, you're going to jail, that's pretty good advice? >> well, they have their ways of enforcing their -- >> it's for the good of their own people. >> right. they really want people off the streets because the main brunt of the storm is just coming in now and we're going to see very rapid increase in snowfall rates from long island all the way up into southeast new england and the winds are going to pick up. it's going to be very dangerous and very dangerous along the coast. we have the strong waves, potential surge of two to four feet in some areas so there could be some coastal flooding. people really need to pay attention. >> good advice, louis uccellini, good luck with your new job starting sunday morning. >> thank you. right now, a close friend of the suspect who was mentioned in a rambling manifesto is speaking out.
we're going back to the massive manhunt for a suspected killer in california. the fired l.a. police, christ sister dorner, suspected of killing three people, causing a war on police and their relatives. a manifesto was left behind explaining the reason for his rage. one of the people mentioned in that lengthy document is here in "the situation room" with a message for his one-time friend. and james usera is joining us.
ppds i know this is extremely difficult for you. you were classmates of his at southern utah university and in this so-called manifesto that he writes, we haven't independently confirmed it, but among other things he says this about you. he says, i will miss our political discussions that always turned argumentative. thanks for introducing me to outdoor sports like fishing, hunting, mudding, and even respect for the land and resources. i love you, bro. how does that make you feel that in this so-called manifesto he writes about you? >> well, i tell you when i first learned about this, i didn't have any context in which to put this excerpt from the manifesto so i confess that my initial reaction was to be somewhat flattered that apparently i've had a positive impact on this
individual and mr. dorner, quite frankly, is a person for whom i've always had great respect and some degree of admiration and it sounds like that was a mutual feeling between us. so, again, on some levels a little bit of a flattery to begin with. after i learned more about the situation and learned more about what is contained within this so-called manifesto, it's concerning, to say the least, that i've sort of been subassumed into this worhirl wi of horrific acts i guess my reaction to it is, once i put it in context and learned more about it i was just shocked that a person who i considered a friend and have respect for is apparently having some serious problems and has been engaged in this conduct in the last few days. >> what was he like in college? >> you know, my experience with mr. dorner was overwhelmingly positive. i found him to be, you know, intelligent, articulate,
well-reasoned, rational. friendly, approachable, the kind of guy that most people would enjoy spending time with, which is obviously what drew me to him as a friend. i feel like we had a good relationship. as you noted, he talked about us having political discussions when he writes that in the manifesto. as a practical matter, i don't know that we had any in-depth political discussions but we certainly were able to speak about current events and such things. so, you know, again, articulate fellow who, again, i had a great deal of respect for. >> so when you heard that this was an individual who allegedly killed a police officer, two other people, what was your immediate reaction when you heard that? >> i was absolutely shocked and somewhat befuddled, i guess would be the best way to put it. i couldn't believe what i was reading, couldn't believe what i was hearing. i learned about this first yesterday morning and then
throughout the course of yesterday was speaking with various news personnel and doing interviews and such things until yesterday evening i finally got a chance to sit down, watch some news, and get sort of a bigger picture of what was going on. and i'll tell you, at that point, my reaction was shock that, you know, again this person who i respected and considered to be a good friend was engaged in this conduct. but i was also experienced a feeling of some helplessness. you know, i think we all are have an innate desire to help a friend if we have a friend in need and the inability to do that. one of the reasons that i feel compelled to go on tv and to give interviews is because, first and foremost, mr. dorner was a friend of mine. to the extent that i can offer any kind of assistance in bringing this situation to a close, i want to be able to do that. >> when was the last time you spoke with him? >> last time he and i spoke was
about 2008. we actually at that point hadn't spoken in years. we both graduated from college in 2001. we didn't talk for a few years, in fact, because, quite frankly, our lives took different pasts. he called me out of the blue one day in 2008 and we caught up for 10 or 15 minutes over the phone and that was the last i spoke with him. you know, it was not a relationship where we had frequent communication but nevertheless, you know, one of those people that i always would have considered a friend regardless of how frequently we spoke. >> if he's watching right now, what would you say to him? >> you know, my message to mr. dorn mer is, simply turn yourself in, let's bring this situation to a close. again, if there is anything i can do to assist in resolving this, please do whatever you can do to let me know what that is because i'm really interested in helping bring this to a resolution. you know, no good is coming out of hurting people, no good is
coming out of violence and out of a manhunt. so best case scenario for everybody is to get this situation unfouled as soon as ex be pi deliciously as possible. >> james usera, thanks so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. thank you. much more coming up in our next hour, including some exclusive video of christopher dorner training with the lapd. up next, though, the answer we've all been waiting for, why the lights went out at the super bowl. we now know. ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
then you're going to love this. right now they're only $14.95! wow-a grt deal just got a whole lot better. hurry. $14.95 won't last. now to new orleans where it's taken nearly a week to solve the biggest mystery in sports. at last we now know what has caused the blackout at the super bowl. here's cnn's john zarrella. >> reporter: officials say that this was the most talked about 34 minutes in the history of electricity. well, they may finally have an answer as to what knocked out the lights at the superdome. the mystery is solved, it wasn't beyonce or, heaven forbid, angry san fran fans that turned out the light.
the who done it or what did it is a mystery no longer. >> through our own investigation, we have krased the cause of the relay device. >> reporter: the utility device to the new orleans city council new orleans during a hearing? >> reporter: it's designed to protect equipment in case power feeder cables fail. the relay is new. they first started using it in december and it worked fine during three other sporting events, including the super bowl. those events did not draw as much power. >> but for the super bowl, you know, i would be remiss if i didn't say there was not an increase in the amount of service that was requested. >> reporter: rice says they still don't know why it tripped. in a statement, the chicago company that makes the part said the outage was a result of the electric load current exceeding the setting in which the relay
would trip. quote, based on our onsite testing, we have determined that if higher settings had been applied, the equipment would not have disconnected the power. the statement also seems blame entergy saying that the system is set by the company. whatever the reason the relay tripped, it wasn't because the stadium was pulling too much power. >> we were well within the capacity, well within the capacity. our readings show that we were running at about two-thirds capacity. >> they were planning to bring in an independent company to help find the problem. now they say that might not be necessary. whatever they find, city council officials want it passed on to new jersey. next year's super bowl site. >> they won't have to experience what we experienced. >> hey, they've already got enough to worry about. playing the game in an outdoor stadium. utility officials say it wasn't until yesterday that they
actually zeroed in on the relay as the source of the problem and it wasn't until last night that they were confident they had the answer. wolf? and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a potentially record-breaking blizzard hammering the northeast triggering an emergency. it's also creating a travel nightmare. thousands of flights have been canceled. the effects are rippling across the country. plus, the massive manhunt for a former police officer suspected in three murders. we have exclusive new video. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'll wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." snow is falling across the northeast right now.
this is only the beginning of what could be a blizzard for the record books. massachusetts has declared an emergency and a ban on roads went into effect an hour ago. a similar ban in rhode island, governor chafee announced it a while ago. things are just as bad in connecticut, also under a state of emergency imposing a travel ban in an effort to keep people off the roads and out of danger. in all, some 40 million people are in the path of this blizzard and many of them -- for many of them, it's going to be a very, very long night. let's go to boston right now, which is going to be hit really hard. jason carroll is on the scene for us. set the scene for us, what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, this situation has continued to
deteriorate from each passing hour. right now we've been experiencing a lot of high wind and even the condition as the snow has been changing. you can see right now it's that thick, stick can key kind of snow, perfect for making a snowball but much later, wolf, the condition of the snow is going to change. it's going to become much more powdery. it's going to make conditions much worse. you've got the powdery snow blow. right now we're on a side street in boston. we saw a plow go by. that gives you an idea of how much the city has been at work. we've seen plows throughout the day heading into this neighborhood. this is a secondary street. the main priority are the primary arteries running in and out of the city of boston. those will be plowed first. as you say, travel ban is in effect right now in the city of boston. that means only emergency crews allowed out on the streets. but that's certainly not keeping people off the streets right now in boston. we ran across this group here of
young kids out here with their sleds, wolf, wanting to take advantage of the conditions before things really get bad. jack, you decided to come out and go for a last-minute slide? >> yes. i figured there would be too much snow tomorrow to get out. >> reporter: i see you brought steven and bobby. he's 7 years old. i'm sure you haven't seen snow like this before. >> no. >> reporter: and you've seen snow like this before? >> yeah, about two years. >> reporter: they are going to get inside before conditions get too pad bad. so that is true, correct? >> oh, definitely. >> reporter: that's good to hear. the city right now and the state of massachusetts under a mandatory travel ban. that means only emergency vehicles allowed out on the street. also, the national guard has been called out as well. some 1,000 members of the national guard already out on the streets. but during the teeth of the
storm the state will have access to some 4,000 members of the national guard. we're going to be waiting out the storm throughout the night. of course, bringing you the latest. wolf? >> we'll check back with you, jason carroll. in new york, alison kosik is standing by. what is it like out there? >> reporter: it's coming down at a good clip. it's a friday night in new york city and it's looking pretty des sew late. lots of heavy snow. this is the wet, heavy snow that could weigh down on the power lineses. it's a concern for not only here in new york city but in long island. city officials are going into overdrive, making sure they are out ahead of this storm. they have plows at the ready to go out. they have 250,000 tons of salt ready to be spread along 6,000 miles. not only here in new york city
but in the four boroughs as well. michael bloomberg is hoping this time around, unlike in 2010 with the big monster blizzard that hit the city, that this time around they are ahead of the storm and more prepared. wolf? >> alison, thanks very much. let's check in with chad myers. what's going to happen over the next few hours, chad? >> it's getting heavier. the snow is coming down. the moisture is getting closer and so is the low to the coast. right along anywhere from the hamptons, it's changing over from the rain and sleet and eventually it will get to be all snow as the cold air wraps in behind. we're seeing brighter whites here. the brighter the white, the heavier the snow is coming down. we still have at least five, ten hours before the snow gets to be at the heaviest point. very heavy snow here around parts of the cape. you're going to see it continue for much of the night and then here into new york city, we had a lot of rain-snow mix for a
while but that rain-snow mix line is moving south of the rockaways. a lot more snow involved. wolf, i told you a couple days ago how i'm going to take two storms to make it into one storm. i'm going to show you this. i think this is very interesting. there is the east coast of the united states. right there. that's maine and nova scotia out there. there were two storms, one that was making rain for georgia, another that was making snow for the midwest. it's going to go back to it right now. that's one low, that's one low. there's the east coast of the united states. over the next few hours, this low is going to catch up to that one and it's going to make one low pressure center. that's how all of this is going to get so much bigger all at one time. that happened somewhere around midnight. it's going to be one for the record books so for. for some people, across northern rhode island, all the way over into connecticut, northeastern connecticut, somebody is going
to pick up 46 inches of snow. if you get wind, there may be an eight-foot drift. you may never be able to see how much snow is under there because the snow is going to blow so hard tonight. >> between the snow and wind, there could be a lot of power outages as well and it's really cold out there. several of the governors have said, chad, this is their biggest fear. >> yes. 23 million people in this red-orange zone. 23 million people in a blizzard warning at this hour. if it starts to go downhill and people start to get in trouble and power goes out, all of a sudden just like san deerk the power crews will be overwhelmed. >> and the other big issue is potentially the surge off the coast. we're talking about a lot of water potentially and some flooding? >> that's exactly right. what we have here is a low. it's not quite as deep as sandy
was but it's big. but this is a very low pressure center. you put a barometer out there, you would be all the way down the barometer and you have wind coming in this direction here, pouring that water on to the shore all the way into boston harbor, all the way up into maine. three to five-foot surge and then four to ten-foot waves on top of that surnl. you get out there east of logan, they are dangerous. they can go over you and take you back out to the ocean, sweep you away. so don't go out there and look for those pretty pictures. >> people forget how dangerous -- this is dangerous. that blizzard in '78 in new england, 100 people died in that blizzard. some of them stranded in their vehicles. >> yeah. and we talked to the mayor and to the governor a bit ago and he was impressed at the amount of time that this forecast was ahead of schedule. three to five days ahead of schedule where that storm back in '78 came up so quickly, the storm came down, the snow came
down so quickly that people were stuck on the roads and died in their cars from their exposure. at least we know this is happening. we've known it for days. it seems to me like these governors and mayors have it under control. i think people are pretty much off the streets. >> hope so. because it is is dangerous. chad, we'll check back with you and to our viewers, to get all of the latest storm tracking, send us your weather-related ireports. send them to cnn.com/weather. thousands of flights around canceled and the effects are rippling through airports across the united states. plus, the latest on the manhunt for a former police officer suspected of three murders. we have exclusive new video of his police training. twins. i didn't see them coming.
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now, take a look at this. it's an extraordinary satellite image captured from space. nasa took the picture just as the two low pressure systems were colliding into one giant force over the region. chad myers, once again, is joining us. chad, would you take a look at this? can we call it a nor'easter? i assume we can. >> yes, we call it a nor'easter. what i see in that picture is that the cold air was tardy for a perfect storm. it was delayed. we talk about how the receiver and quarterback had to throw the ball and receiver had to be under the ball by the time it got there. the cold air did not get to new york city in time to make a great snowstorm. that's great news. you got that muck earlier. it was rain, snow, grapple. it was a layer of nothing for a while. that would have already been on the ground in new york city, easily six inches of snow. because there was rain mixed in, that snow didn't get to
accumulate. it kind of got washed down into the gutters. there's only one bad part about that. by tonight, temperatures are going to be down to 20. the layer of slush is going to completely freeze up. then you are going to get six to ten inches of snow on top of that slush. you're going to try to walk or drive around on it and there's going to be a layer of ice in the city. it was raining for a while, rain/snow mix. now the line has pushed down to the south and it's getting colder in new york city and blizzard warning is going to continue. it may not seem like a blizzard for a lot of people but if you get down towards manhattan and funnel that wind down into the big cities, all of a sudden you're going to get wind tunnel effects. >> you see that roving c are nn camera in that vehicle driving through the streets of boston right now. there it is. we're going to show you that picture throughout. these are live pictures coming in from boston right now. our producer julian cummings is in that vehicle. we'll check back with him
shortly. thousands of superstorm sandy victims are bracing for the worst all over again. mary snow has been in staten island which is getting hit very, very hard. she's got more on this part of the story. >> reporter: snowstorms should be a time for nick camarata to make money repairing snow blowers but his business was destroyed by sandy and he's working out of a badly damaged home. he can't afford another setback. >> as you can see, i got as far as i could trying to rebuild, you know, and i'm in week -- what are we in? week 15? 15 weeks of living in hell. and under these conditions, i couldn't bear another title surge or water coming into the house and causing any more problems than we already have. we've been through enough. >> reporter: we first met camarato when water ravaged the first floor of his home and
refused to leave with his family. he suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder. his biggest struggle right now, he says, his emotions. how big of a setback do you think this storm is even if it doesn't do widespread damage, how big of a setback is it just on your psyche? >> you know, you've just got to keep moving forward one step at a time. you can't mess with mother nature. at this point, i can weather any storm. today, there ain't no storm that i can't handle after this because you can't take anything more from me. so whatever it is, it is. i'm destroyed. i'm destroyed. >> reporter: not far away, steve chatty comes to this tent.
he comes to this for meals after he and his family were displaced. he can't imagine anything more. >> to be honest, i can't imagine anything more. we lost everything. i'm just trying to stay strong and hopefully better days will come. >> reporter: and wolf, you just hear that over and over again, that people will escape the brunt or any major damage after the storm. one person saying today, here we go again. they are just in disbelief that another major storm is at their doorstep. wolf? >> i hope that they are going to be okay. obviously the last thing they need after what they've gone through as a result of superstorm sandy.
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we'll have much more on the blizzard coverage coming up and also snowing in southern california. today a s.w.a.t. team is searching the area of big bear for the former police officer suspected of killing three people. christopher dorner's burned out truck was found there. they are going to keep searching for him or this they confirm that he is out of the area. let's bring in cnn's kyung lah.
she has exclusive videotape of dorner. tell us about this videotape. >> wolf, i can tell you that we obtained it from a man who was there following the class of 2000 the same year that dorner was a and the man we interviewed is afraid that dorner will tell us. >> if you can see everybody is a beginner and probably never touched a gun in their life and you could just see this guy is look at the way he holds it. the gun doesn't even move. his arms don't shake and he's been holding guns for a long a
time. this is a challenge. this guy is beyond lapd. this guy is military. this guy is like a wrecking ball. >> there is much more to my conversation with the man we spoke with. that's coming up on erin burnett "outfront." >> pretty chilling stuff. how are the folks in the area reacting? are they still obviously very, very worried? >> very, very worried. if it you try to go to a police station anywhere in los angeles, you can feel that the officers are very, very worried. if you turn on the radio or drive anywhere in this city, you see pictures of this man. you also hear constant updates of where the search is going. certainly everyone in southern california is paying attention to this story. >> we'll continue to stay in close touch with you, kyung lah, thank you. a massive storm surge is threatening cape cod right now.
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in the coming hours, it will be the most critical as a powerful blizzard roars across the region home to 40 million people. snow and wind is picking up, three feet of snow. connecticut, rhode island, massachusetts, they've all ordered bans of cars and trucks off the roads, anyone who decides to take a drive could go to jail. let's go to cape cod right now. ali velshi is standing by. ali, i see it coming down pretty hard. there's a lot of water and potential surge flooding could be a problem? >> reporter: yeah. let's take this back a little
bit. everyone knows you about being from washington. we're snow experts, right? this is a winter wonderland, right? the issue here with this big, just sejuicy, slushy snowflakes. that's the right hand of the boot. this is where last night's high tide came in. this will be about four hours from now, if it were normal, high tide would come in here. the issue is right around 10:00 to midnight is when this thing gets bad. there will be some kind of a surge. chad myers is describing it as a fire hose of snow coming in. and then as jason carroll was describing from boston, this is a heavy, wet snow. you combine that heavy, wet snow that's accumulating at a rate of two to three inches per hour with trees and power lines and then the wind that comes in over there, it gets as close as it's going to get around midnight, i
guess according to chad, you're going to have some problems. you're going to have downed power lines. the governors have been telling people to stay home, in three states they told them, you can't even drive. in cape cod, probably about 250,000 people are living here all year round. they are getting worse east of here. it's pretty bad. at this point, everybody is off the roads. in massachusetts, you have got to be. hopefully people have stocked up and got their provisions. wolf, i love snow like you do. this is a lot of snow. >> it certainly is. it's not just the snow that people have to worry about, it's the wind, which is a huge problem and folks don't necessarily appreciate -- >> reporter: yeah, and it's just picking up now. you've got two things that are going to go on with the wind, particularly with two weather systems. one is a storm surge that's going to come in and create coastal flooding through new york and as i've been watching cnn, interrupted by national weather service alerts, it's
pretty biting snow and then the wind that is going to topple those trees and those power lines because of the snow that is accumulated on top of them. wind is a big problem. it's causing traffic accidents all over the place which is why they don't want cars on the road. it's beautiful. i love winter. these are hearty new englanders, the bottom line is, this could be dangerous. >> certainly will be. we'll stay on top of it. ali velshi is joining us from cape cod. brian todd is at washington, d.c. thousands of flights have been canceled and i suspect it's only just the beginning? >> reporter: it is only the beginning. we just got word from the airlines that just came out of their operational meetings for the afternoon. 4500 plus flights being canceled throughout the country and this projects for friday, saturday, and sunday. they are canceling them ahead of time in anticipation of the storm, of course. we'll show you down the terminal
here, reagan national. this is not necessarily lighter than normal traffic, passenger traffic for the terminal on a friday evening. this is about about normal. a lot of people got word early that their flights were going to be canceled and the tarmac tells the story out here as well. grounded planes sitting here. some of the planes haven't moved for quite some time. 80 flights going out have been canceled and the board tells everything here. all the flights going to new york, jfk, newark, boston, logan, toronto, all canceled. here's another illustration. we'll back up the camera right here and back up towards the u.s. airways shuttle counter here. this is about the deadest place of the terminal. this is the shuttle for u.s. airways for the shuttle going to boston to new york and newark. these places here not much activity. we caught up to a couple could of people earlier today who had
their flights canceled. take a listen. >> we were planning ongoing to buffalo to go up to niagara falls. they canceled the flight and since we were at the airport, we were trying to find a cheap flight to anywhere else since we're here anyway. >> it is what it is. we're trying to figure out where we go next and what we do. because i don't need to be here for the next three days, for sure. >> reporter: people taking a little bit of humor out of the situation but a big inconvenience for thousands of air travelers, of course. the good thing is, be as we mentioned, a lot of them got word early today by calling, by checking the internet, their smartphones, all of that stuff, getting early word about flights being canceled. now, what we did get into as well was the united airlines command center, brand-new facility, outside chicago, this is where they take control of all of the cancellations. they manage everything. all of the special response teams, the dispatch, everything
in that airline, we're going to show you that place next hour on "the situation room," wolf, fascinating place that united is running out of chicago. a lot of airlines, operational centers very, very busy right now. >> any indication, brian, how much money the airlines are going to lose this weekend? >> reporter: i spoke to an analyst about that earlier today. richard from the teal group said it's going to be in the tens of millions. no exact figure that they can project but tens of millions of dollars they are they are going to be losing and a lot of airports affected by this, internation international hub, boston, newark, jfk, they are going to lose the international traffic as well. it's going to take a hit this weekend, wolf. it's known as the home of the world's worst weather yet. we're going to take you to the highest point in new england where they are bracing for a windchill, get this, 25 degrees below zero.
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mt. washington, new hampshire, isn't just the highest point in new england. it's also known as home of the world's worst weather. right now they are bracing for the brunt of this storm and the windchills of 25 degrees below zero. joining us now via skype is weather observer brian fitzgerald with the mt. washington observatory. brian, thanks very much for joining us. you're inside right now. first of all, how bad is it
outside? >> right now it's pretty chilly out there. it's actually negative 2. winds are pretty light for us. about 25 miles per hour. combine those two factors, it's about negative 25 for windchill right now. >> has it gotten worst in the past few hours or has it stabilized? >> we've seen some pretty consistent snowfall since last evening. we picked up about six inches of snowfall so far. now we see pretty heavy bands of snow coming on shore and heading right towards us. >> what is all of that equipment behind you, just out of curiosity? >> yeah, we've got a lot of neat stuff going on behind us. a lot of visual stuff going on in terms of this sign here is our wind chart showing 24 hours worth of wind data, lots of other things. showing temperature over time and then digital barometer it. it's the works. a lot of things go into the weather observations that we take up here. >> how much worse do you expect it to get in mt. washington
where you are, how much snow, how low of a temperature? >> we're thinking about tomorrow, about negative 5. that's just ambient air temperature. winds will continue, gusts up to 110 miles an hour which is not unusual during the wintertime with two feet of snow on the ground, that's going to be visibility of 20, 50 feet at best. it's going to get pretty white out there. >> in 1924 -- this is the highest ever in recorded history, 231 miles per hour the winds got up there, the surface wind speed. so what you're saying, it's not going to get anywhere near that but it's going to be pretty bad. i assume everybody just stays inside, it's too dangerous to go outside? >> yeah, you would think so. against better judgment, we go outside every hour to take weather observations. that's part of what we've been doing for over 80 years now.
we will go out for not a long time, can't afford to, we scurry back inside once we get all of the information that we need from outside. so just a few minutes. >> and then you relay that information to whom? >> national weather service. but we also keep an eye on our own databases too and we create forecasts for the summit right here on mt. washington since it sees a lot of foot traffic, both summer and winter. >> brian fitzgerald joining us from north conway, new hampshire. i assume you have a coat and hat and gloves. you're well protected, right? >> absolutely. we have a sponsor of eastern mountain sports so they've outfitted us head to toe because we can't afford to go out there when we have windchills at negative 45. that's a pretty nasty frostbite if you're not taking care of yourself. >> just be careful. brian fitzgerald joining us from mt. washington. as they say, home of maybe the
worst is it in the country. world's worst weather. thank you very much. >> appreciate it, wolf. let's bring in julian cummings. he's driving through the streets of boston right now. these are live pictures we're seeing, julian. tell us what is going on. >> wolf, the snow is really picking up here in the last hour since we spoke. we're seeing road accumulation, plows having trouble keeping up but still we are seeing people walking around, enjoying the snow, taking photographs. but traffic is has really, really slowed down. >> as of 4:00 p.m. eastern, almost two hours ago, it was a crime to be driving if you weren't in an emergency vehicle, if you didn't have special permission like the news media, for example, has. so people are heeding that, aren't they? >> yes, for the most part. we are seeing the occasional car on the road and there are still a few delivery cars and taxis. but for the most part, it's a
lot of emergency vehicles and plows trying to keep up. we ventured out a little farther from some of the downtown areas and saw that they -- those roads are really bad. they are having a hard time. the snow is falling faster and the winds are starting to gust here as well. >> so what's it like driving? is it just icy? i assume you have a special vehicle. >> we've got a very, very large four-wheel drive vehicle, heeding precautions, driving very slowly with hazard lights on, too. there are times when you just can't stop and we just let it go. don't try anything too fancy. it's definitely not recommended for driving. i wouldn't tell you to go out on the the roads and go anywhere. >> and this is just the beginning, isn't it, julian in they are saying in the next few hours it's going to get a whole lot worse? >> yes, a whole lot worse. the wind is picking up. i think we're in for -- this is just the beginning. we're in for a lot more. >> and you're going to continue to stay on the streets of boston for us. we'll check back with you.
is that all right? >> we're going to stay out here as long as we can. >> julian cummings, our producer driving through boston right now. you're looki at live pictures. just ahead, by the way, i'll speak with the mayor of hartford, connecticut. all cars and trucks also have been banned from the road. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts... well muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour one on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour three. zyrtec®. love the air.
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cape cod right now, by the way, it's getting really, really tough out there. this is the president of the united states saying good-bye to his defense secretary. we're going to get back to cape cod in a moment. the president used his farewell ceremony to issue another dire warning about the potential
impact of automatic spending cuts set to take effect just three weeks from now. >> there is no reason, no reason for that to happen, putting our fiscal house in order calls for a balanced approach, not massive, indiscriminate cuts that could have a severe impact for military preparedness. tough talk from the president. this is a huge issue. >> right. following on the talk earlier this week from the secretary of defense, the outgoing secretary defense panetta who said, look, this is not a game. this is reality. he said there's going to be furloughs at the pentagon, the pay increases for the troops will not be as large as he would like, and then the president today added on to them, said, look, this is going to affect seniors, food safety, the poor.
so what they are setting themselves up for is really this argument they are set to have and i think we're going to hear from the state of the union, over these automatic spending cuts that are due to take effect. the president is saying, we cannot let this occur and he's ready to clearly have that fight with republicans on this. >> panetta leaving office with an extraordinary acknowledgement that the defense department, the cia, state department, all of them recommended to the president that the u.s. should start arming, directly arming syrian rebels but the president decided that was not necessarily a good idea. that's pretty extraordinary. >> it was extraordinary. he was asked about it at a congressional hearing. what is interesting to me is someone who covers washington, it's not that there is disagreement at certain points over policy between the secretary of defense and the secretary of state and the president of the united states. what's amazing, wolf, is that we never knew about it before. so when you saw the president assisting hillary clinton in her good-bye tour and you saw a
president who really was thanking her for not leaking. and what we also see in this is that foreign policy is really run from the white house and not from anywhere else. this is a very white house centric national security team and i think that the president is, of course, first among equals. if you look at those people up on the screen, wolf, it is the president of the united states who made that decision on osama bin laden, hillary clinton and leon panetta wanted to arm the rebels and it was the president who decided differently. so it's very much center data. >> the president of the united states, who makes a decision over rejecting the advice, in the end it's up to him.
>> of course it's up to him. what modern presidents center their policy in the white house and if the president is making decisions about his to him is who are the people next to him? and cabinets over the last decade or two, you have strong members of cabinets, no doubt about it. but the policymaking, more and more centered out of that oval office and out of the people who are in that small piece of real estate right around the president. >> what's the latest? the president saying good-bye to leon panetta. chuck hagel hasn't been confirmed -- >> chuck hagel -- at the white house, they're saying he's going to get confirmed. they had the 55 democrat and independent votes that they need. they still say a filibuster would not be successful. but in chuck hagel and in john kerry, what the president has is not a team of rivals. it's more a team of boosters. people he feels comfortable with. that's the way he's going, clearly, in the second term. not a lot of sort of outsiders
that he doesn't know or feel will support him. >> we'll know when that final confirmation in the senate armed services committee -- >> we don't. although the chairman has said, you've had requests for more information about financial disclosure, this is more than is required. it's very clear that levin wants to get a vote going quickly. they'd like to have hagel confirmed by the 27th. >> gloria, thanks very much. violent protests erupting on the streets of tunisia. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's the latest? >> tunisia was held up as the model for the arab spring and positive change. but it can be hard sometimes for real change to take hold. tens o f thousands turned ut o for the funeral of a prominent official assassinated wednesday. riot police fired tear gas.
it's left the country in turmoil, many accusing the government of allowing political violence to spread unchecked. no one has claimed responsibility for that attack. in other news, hugh grant is getting a big check from rupert murdoch. murdoch's media empire paid substantial damages to hugh grant as part of a mass settlement, part of that phone hacking scandal. grant has been one of the most outspoken victims of the scandal and he helped take down a popular london tabloid. a number of senior employees are facing criminal charges. and the flu is still a big deal. just not as big of a deal as it was earlier this month. the latest cdc report says 38 states are now reporting flu activity. that number is actually down from the week before. that is a bright spot. the bad news, though, is the number of children dying from the flu has risen by 14 during the last week for a total of 59 this season. young children and the elderly are the most at risk and they should see a doctor right away
if they get sick. and a source close to jesse jackson, jr.'s family tells us he's signed a plea deal. it was investigated by the feds for alleged misuse of campaign funds. "the chicago sun times" reports the deal may include, quote, significant prison time. lawyers representing jackson have not returned our phone calls from cnn. we'll see what happens. ultimately it's going to be up to a judge to decide how long that sentence is. >> if you hear anything else, let us know, lisa. thank you. our cnn ireporters are helping us cover the blizzard. we'll have some of their reports. that's next. a groundbreaking. then invent an entirely new way to buy one. no. no. no. yes! a website that works like a wedding registry. but for a car. first, you customize it. then let people sponsor the car's parts as gifts. dad sponsors the engine for your birthday. grandma sponsors the rims for graduation. the car gets funded. then you pick up your new dodge dart at the dealership.
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liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? then you're going to love this. right now they're only $14.95! wow-a grt deal just got a whole lot better. hurry. $14.95 won't last. here's a look at this hour's hot shots. in connecticut, our ireporter john barnett took these shots of snow blanketing some quiet train tracks. a barn bombarded by the blizzard. and in ontario, our ireporter david bradley's windshield is blocked by snow and ice. send in your photos to cnnireport.com or through instagram using #cnnireport. i talked to a former classmate of christopher dorner when he played football at southern utah university.
he told me about the man he knew then and how he feels about the allegations against dorner now. >> my experience with mr. dorner was overwhelmingly positive. i found him to be intelligent, articula articulate, well-reasoned, well-rationed. really friendly, approachable, the kind of guy that most people would enjoy spending time with, which is obviously what drew me to him as a friend. >> so when you heard that this was an individual who allegedly killed a police officer, two other people, what was your immediate reaction when you heard that? >> i was absolutely shocked and somewhat befuddled, i guess would be the best way to put it. i just couldn't believe what i was reading, couldn't believe what i was hearing. i learned about this first yesterday morning, and then throughout the course of yesterday was speaking with
various news personnel and doing interviews and such things. until yesterday evening, i finally got a chance to sit down, watch some news and get a bigger picture of what was going on. at that point, my reaction was shock that, again, this person who i respected and considered to be a good friend was engaged in this conduct. but i was also -- experienced a feeling of almost helplessness. that i wanted to -- i think we all have an innate desire to want to help our friends if we have a friend in need and the inability to do that in this situation. one of the reasons i feel somewhat compelled to go on tv and give interviews is first and foremost, mr. dorner was a friend of mine. to the extent i can offer any kind of assistance in bringing this situation to a close, i want to be able to do that. happening now, blizzard danger. 40 million people in the path of a monster storm that's starting
to hit hard and fast. we're live across the northeast. plus, exclusive images of an alleged killer before he was on the run, the massive manhunt for the rogue ex-cop who's vanished. huge stories unfolding on two coasts right now. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." very messy and dangerous right now, but the worst is coming. millions, millions of people are getting snowed in under the northeast and 2 to 3 inches could be falling each hour in boston. cars and trucks are banned from the roads except for emergency vehicles. travel bans also are in effect for parts of connecticut and rhode island. planes are grounded at airports across the region.
more than 4,000 flights already have been canceled. 6,000 national guard troops are on alert in massachusetts to respond to the storm. new york's governor ordered a state of emergency just a little while ago as this blizzard bears down. we have correspondents across the region out in the snow. they're covering every angle of this weather emergency. let's go to the city that may be the hardest hit, boston. cnn's jason carroll is joining us now from there. in boston, jason, what's going on? >> reporter: certainly feels like boston is going to be hit hard. we've seen conditions deteriorate over the past hour. steady amount of wind and snow. you can see the cars here on this side street. the amount of snow just in the past hour or two that's covered cars like this one. these are secondary streets in the city that will be the primary streets, the primary arteries in the city of boston that will be plowed first. that's for good reason, so emergency crews can get through. as you say, there is a mandatory
rule in effect so that no -- the only cars allowed on the road at this point are emergency vehicles. if you're considering heading out, you could be arrested or fined up to $500 if you're caught out on the streets. so people are staying inside. we've got melissa and neal here that came out, saw that we were out here. they're doing the right thing, staying inside, having a blizzard party, is that it? >> we invited a couple of friends here here in south boston. hunkered down trying to stay safe. >> reporter: i know you invited wolf to your party. he's in d.c., won't be able to attend. but you stayed home, you were, quote, working from home a little earlier today. is that right? >> absolutely true. working very hard. >> reporter: obviously you've seen the city prepare for this. so far from the people that we've talked to, they say the city has done a pretty good antibiotic getting the snowplows out, getting the salt spreaders out early. your thoughts on that? >> i was on the highway yesterday, all the road signs said, state of emergency at
noon, stay off the roads, work canceled early. everyone was home. i think we're all trying to do the right thing and stay safe. >> reporter: thank you very much for staying safe and staying inside. as you mentioned before, the national guard is going to be out in full force around the state. 1,000 members of the national guard already on the ground now. during the peak of storm, more than 4,000 members of the national guard will be on hand just in case. wolf? >> they're going to be really busy over the next several days. jason carroll in boston for us, thanks very much. kate bolduan is here. she's watching what's going on. it's only just beginning. >> it's going to be a long, cold night for so many. we have reporters fanned out all over the region. our ali velshi is in cape cod in dennisport, massachusetts. ali, you're on the beach there, snow is clearly a problem. but it looks like wind is a big problem where you are as well. >> reporter: yeah. you're like wolf and me. we're from places where we know snow and the complexion of this
storm has changed very dramatically in the last half hour since i spoke to wolf. back then, i was telling him that these were the luscious, juicy big snowflakes i remember as a kid in toronto. this is not what this is right now. this is a biting, icy snow. i've put my flaps down on my hat because it's just stinging my face. the velocity is incredible. the speed at which this snow is coming down and the wind has picked up quite dramatically. i wasn't really having trouble keeping my place. now it's really blowing in gusts. we've got the storm coming in. we are still 3, 3 1/2 hours away from high tide and high tide will roughly coincide -- might come a little earlier. but high tide will be here about 9:45 or 10:00. this is south. the storm's out there and around -- between -- sometime between 10:00 and midnight, that storm is going to reach the closest point to cape cod that it's going to get to. chatham, cape cod is east of me. i'm halfway down the southern part of cape cod.
right between 10:00 and a little after midnight is when the velocity, the wind, the amount of snow coming down and the storm surge are all going to come together causing coastal flooding all the way down cape cod, down to new york and at the same time, this snow will have accumulated -- an hour and a half ago, there was no snow here at wul. it's going to have accumulated on trees, on power lines. the wind is going to come in when they anticipate there might be some structure collapse, power lines collapses. that's why they want everybody off the road. our photojournalist and our producer -- wow, this is painful. went for a little drive, as media, you're allowed to drive, even though there's a ban on all travel here. they went out. there are still people on the roads. there's one gas station open that still has some gas. there are still some supplies out there. there are still some people driving around. but generally speaking on cape cod, about 750,000 people here
today, most of them are indoors. they are by law, not allowed to be driving right now. >> i was going to ask you just that. it looks absolutely brutal where you are right now. are you seeing anyone out there where you are on the beach? >> reporter: no. no. not at all. this isn't like sandy where it was otherwise warm weather and some people were walking around. this is not comfortable. even one hour ago, it was comfortable. i was sitting here thinking, how can this be deadly? this is just beautiful. lovely snow. no, no, this is something else altogether. this is painful. >> hunker down. we'll come back to you. you always seem to find yourself in the middle of it. ali velshi is in dennisport, massachusetts. >> pretty messy, ugly. let's check in with chad myers right now. give us a little sense of perspective. where l ali is, it's pretty brutal. >> it is. what's happening in the upper atmosphere, maybe 3,000 to 5,000 feet above where ali is standing, it's knsnowing above that.
but there's a warm layer. the snow comes in and starts to melt but doesn't get all the way melted. then it gets into the layer where ali is right now where it's below freeze egg and that stuff freezes back up again. so there's these tiny little ice pellets inside the snow. that's why it hurts with that wind. see that blue streak right through there all the way from cape cod -- ali is right there, by the way. that blue streak is 3 inches of snow per hour. south of hartford right along i-95. that's right there. that blue streak is moving up into boston. s in next half hour, boston, you will pick up what ali is feeling right now. and that very heavy snow will start to pile up quickly. it's all snow for new york city. for a while, it was sleety and messy, just a muck. that orange or that pink stuff. right now, we're all white and blue, all snow coming down, the snow totals start to go up from here. it's even snow all the way down
to the rockaways. 23 million people in a blizzard warning. ali, does it feel like a blizzard yet? >> reporter: yeah, it feels like a blizzard. and it feels like a blizzard, not the fun kind. what you described is remarkable. earlier i was feeling those light snowflakes and they looked good and felt good. the kind as a kid i would try and catch with my tongue. these are the kinds that you stay out of the way because it hurts. >> it's like an underdeveloped snowflake. it starts as a snowflake. all these little arms of the snowflake start to go out and then they halfway melt, then they refreeze and they sting you. you said you're seeing some accumulation on the beach. i would suspect maybe for you where you're standing, about 12 inches by the time you're done. what are you seeing now? >> reporter: yeah, an hour ago because it's been raining all day here because it's been just around the freezing mark, an hour ago when the sun went down -- and i don't know what
else meteorologistical icalmete got a lot colder. i think it's a ground temperature issue because there's more snow falling than is accumulating on the ground here in cape cod. >> certainly because the ground is warm and you're getting cold air to come in aloft. this is the second storm you're feeling now. the second storm that was over michigan and wisconsin is now mixing in its colder air with the warm air because we had rain here in georgia. the two storms are coming together. it's about to get really ugly for you between 10:00 and midnight tonight. where are you going to be at that point in time? do you have some type of shelter? >> reporter: yeah, we have high ground here. we're very well-sheltered. it's almost deceiving because it doesn't look like a place that's going to get that kind of a hit. but we have good shelter. we have a very, very experienced crew here, the same crew -- part of this crew was with me in sandy, other hurricanes like gustav before. but this is deceiving. there were still people around cape cod -- chad, these are
hearty new englanders. they're not entirely scared of a storm. but the change in the complexion of this storm in the last hour has meant those people who are gradually walking around and trying to get a sense of this flavor are going to stop walking around because this is not pleasant to be out in. >> something else you're going to see, too, ali, some of that melted snow as it comes down start to be liquid, at least for a little bit. then it's going to hit a tree or it's going to hit a power line. it's going to stick to that power line and we're going to start to see the trees come down. here are the snow totals. new york city, 6 to 10. where ali is, 20 to 30. maybe only a foot on cape cod because it is sticking out in the warmer water, warm is a relative term. ask ali how warm he is. 20 to 30 from boston down to providence and hartford. this is a big storm. and with the wind, we could see wind gusts -- probably drifts at five to seven feet. >> wow. that's going to be huge. chad, we have more. we're going to pick your brain
throughout this hour. i want to get to another location in the path of this massive storm. we have reporters everywhere. i want to get to greenwich, connecticut, where ashleigh banfield has been. you've seen powerful storms before and what they do to connecticut that often means powerful storms, means power outages. how are things looking right now? >> reporter: i'm glad you brought that up because actually the governor of this state has now suggested that at least 30% of the customers in this state of 3.6 million people can pretty much expect to lose their power. that is a big deal. they actually prestaged power groups from out of the state, even. they' they've contracted out the work. they have them standing by to try to make sure they can restore things quickly. it's always a nightmare. i want to show you something specific right behind me. see that big tree lit up behind the guy who's driving illegally? that tree was planted in 1914.
that makes it 99 years old. that's also the kind of tree that causes problems in connecticut. big trees when confronted with massive winds and very, very heavy snow, drops their boughs and takes out roots, they take out the power lines. be ready for this. not only that, i just showed you those drivers. very few of those drivers around. very few people flouting the driving ban. what could happen to you if you're out? there is a maximum fine, a maximum penalty of $1,000 or up to a year in jail. not everybody who's out driving is going to get that. if you cause an accident or an injury, you could face that. it's snowing. hive got those soft flakes that al lil and chad were just talking about. i've got the nice, big, soft flakes.
they haven't turned into the icy flakes that hurt. but they make for a big accumulation. i want to show you how i've been measuring it. these nice steps of this monument are a good barometer. when i got here, that first step was nice and deep. now it's almost flush with the snow. i've been doing my presidential second grade measuring technique. when i got here, we were at john quincy adams. about 3 inches. now we're at william harrison. we've gone up about 5 inches or snow. take a lookover here. this is what we've been watching. trying to keep up with things. a constant steady stream of blows trying to make sure each job is not going to be difficult. if you keep the plows coming over and over, you're not going to deal with frthree feet at on plow. you can hear some of the people yelling.
i think they're a bit couped up because they're being told not to leave. kate, back to you. >> ashleigh, thank you. we'll check back in with you. weather is also affecting the manhunt for that fired cop in california who's accused of killing three people in a war of revenge against the lapd. the los angeles police department. we'll tell you where the search stands right now. also, the nightmare on the roads in the blizzard zone, in some places, driving isn't just dangerous. it could land you in jail. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin. [ designer ] enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months,
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northeastern part of the united states. you see this car driving through. we'll check in with all of our reporters momentarily. another huge story we're watching on the west coast. police fear that a fired cop and alleged killer could be anywhere right now plotting his next move, stalking his next victim. we've gotten hold of some exclusive images of christopher jordan dorner firing a gun back in 2005 at a firing range for los angeles police officers in training. right now dorner is the target of a round-the-clock manhunt. but there's been no trace of him since yesterday. miguel marquez is tracking the investigation for us. what's the latest? >> reporter: the latest is we have some new details about big bear, the last place he was known to have been seen, his truck burned there. law enforcement officials telling cnn that they found the two guns that were burned inside the truck. they believe he has as many as
30 guns with him and they say those tracks that went in the woods, they doubled back right into big bear village itself. in the mountains east of l.a., a feverish search in big bear, despite near whiteout conditions. >> we're going to continue to search primarily up in the mountain area to make sure -- there's a lot of cabins up there there are abandoned. we want to make sure he didn't find a place to hide out for the night. >> reporter: today parts of southern california on lockdown. some 17 million people terrorized by an ex-cop on a murderous rampage. >>. [ no audio ] >> reporter: police stations across the city under guard. the homes of p.d. officials and their families also under guard after being called out this dorner's angry 11-page diatribe. thousands of police across the state called onto duty.
tensions so high, twitchy lapd officers shoot up a blue pick-up truck resembling dorner's. it wasn't. inside a 71-year-old woman and her daughter delivering newspapers. the 71-year-old in intensive care, the daughter, okay. another police officer sees a different truck leaving a different neighborhood rams it and fires shots into it. not dorner, just a man going to work. luckily he's okay. the rampage started sunday in irvine. monica quan and her fiance shot and killed. on wednesday, dorner tried to steal a boat. on thursday, 1:25 a.m. in corona, dorner allegedly fired onto two police officers. one is slightly injured. 20 minutes later in riverside, two officers ambushed at a spotlight, again, dorner suspected. one officer dies, the other hospitalized. dorn
dorner's manifesto goes public. his burned-out truck is then found and footprints leading into the woods. some new information as well. there's a search warrant being served on dorner's mother's house in orange county. that also may be his last place of residence. they have forensics experts in there to look through his computers hoping to figure out exactly or at least a clue as to where this guy might be. >> and people out where you are in the l.a. area all the way down to san diego and beyond, they're pretty nervous right now, aren't they? >> reporter: southern california sp freaked out, to say the least. the places on lockdown -- we're at a police station right down the street from where cnn is in hollywood. they have the roads blocked off. this was one of the stations that was mentioned in that 11-page manifesto that he put out. across los angeles, all of the substations, all the police stations, even the l.a. h.q. itself, extra security, every
patrol has to have at least two officers with it. they're taking no chances with this guy. >> miguel, thank you. we'll stay in close touch with you. >> amazing when he says that he could have as many as 30 guns with him and he's still on the run. >> he's an expert marksman, too. >> exactly. still ahead, most drivers in the blizzard zone ared to be off the roads by now. but getting anywhere was a mess all day today. we'll check in with our cnn crews, especially one that got as far as rhode island. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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icy mess and they are getting worse. and they're going to get a whole lot worse. regular traffic is now banned in several states. >> for most of the day, the interstates were bumper to bumper and moving at a crawl. poppy harlow was lucky to make it as far as providence, rhode island, today. but it was a long, tough trip. what's it like? >> reporter: it was. it took us five hours. and we can show you some video. we passed by a lot of accidents including tractor-trailers, jackknifed, running into the median. one semi literally tipped over the stretch of the highway. that was three hours ago. right now, no cars except for emergency vehicles are allowed on i-95. that whole corridor from massachusetts through rhode island and into connecticut, totally shut down. that hasn't really happened since 1978, the great blizzard there. this is downtown providence, guys. it is at a standstill. there is no traffic, no one's really working in any of these buildings here. it's been this way for the past few hours.
the governor, we had a chance to speak to the governor of rhode island, lincoln chafee, earlier today, he echoed the concern so many here have. as these winds pick up, they're really concerned about downed power lines, especially because the snow is so wet and heavy. take a listen to what the grn told me. >> we couldn't be more prepared because we had so much advance warning. that's good. our big fear is power outages. you can see this wet snow. it's about 33 degrees. with that heavy, wet snow, if the winds kicks up and brings down trees on power lines, that's really our fear. we're ready with the plows. we're going to clear the streets. if people get out of power with low temperatures, that's our big fear. >> reporter: that is the big concern. i literally minutes ago just got back from the emergency command center that they have set up here. and the technology they have tracks every single plow down to the exact route it's taking. and they've got all their
emergency vehiclinges on the ro plus those they could get from emergency contractors here. the officials told me they're expecting a very long storm. it won't be close to normal until sunday. not only do they have to plow, they have to remove -- they think they're going to have to remove snow from providence. it's a big, big concern. this snow is getting thicker. the wind is getting stronger by the minute. >> we can see it accumulating on you as this live shot was progressing. >> reporter: i know. >> keep up the good work. we'll check back in with you. poppy harlow in providence, rhode island, for us. it's interesting to watch how the conditions are so different in various parts. we started speaking with ali velshi and the ice pellets he was describing. >> she grew up in the midwest. she can handle it. >> we can all handle it. looking at live pictures -- i believe this is from dennisport, massachusetts, in cape cod where ali velshi is hopefully
hunkering down at the moment. look at those winds. they're absolutely whipping. some of the worst yet to come. now we want to move over to boston, massachusetts, where our cnn producer julian cummings has been driving around all day long. looking at live pictures here from his vehicle. julian, can you hear us? >> i hear you, kate. >> how are things looking right now? >> things are getting a little sketchy here. the roads are definitely getting worse. we're seeing basically no vehicles at all other than emergency vehicles and the occasionally taxi here and there. but there are still people out. we're seeing a lot of people out to enjoy the snow. >> is it getting increasingly worse or just marginally? >> i'd say in the past 20 minutes, we're seeing increasingly worse. winds picking up for sure. the snow's whipping a little bit more. and the accumulations are just really picking up. we're seeing it on the roads. the plows are trying their best.
you can see in our shot here on the right here, there's a lot of plowing. but they've stopped. i don't know if they can keep up anymore. we were on this road maybe five minutes ago and we're seeing a fresh layer of snow on it right now. >> it looks like it almost looks as if there's ice accumulating on your windshield. have you noticed the temperature's been dropping as well? >> yeah. we're struggling to keep the shot cleared. definitely dropping in temperature. there is also some ice developing on the road. we've seen a few cars spinning out of control. we're trying to keep our distance there. but on our left, we're on commonwealth avenue, which is a big huge avenue in boston. we're seeing people walking their dogs, making snowmen. it's definitely -- people not quite -- >> julian, it's illegal for people to be on the road driving on the road right now unless it's an emergency vehicle or news media vehicle. are you seeing violators? >> not a ton.
we have seen a lot of taxis on the road. i don't know if that applies to the ban. but less and less vehicles, for sure. we're even seeing less emergency vehicles as well. >> you'julian cummings driving around boston for us there. even if you're far away from a snowstorm that he is walloping the northeast, tblgd affect you. more than 4,725 flights in and out of the region have already been canceled. we just received that updated number. the back-up can ripple across the country. brian todd is over at ronald reagan national airport here in washington. it's going to get worse. there's going to be a lot more cancellation, brian. >> reporter: a lot more cancellations. more than 4,700 cancellations now across the country. a lot of airlines preemptively canceling flights through
saturday, sunday and maybe even beyond because of the storm. this is a fairly normal traffic load for passengers walking through the terminal here at reagan national for a friday evening. but you won't see a lot of the long lines of people angry and waiting and just trying to figure out where they're going to go next. a lot of people found out ahead of time that their flights are canceled. the boards tell it all. new york laguardia, newark, new york jfk, toronto, down the line here. over to my right, your left, the us airways shuttle counter, dead as a doornail. this is a scene repeated at airports tlhroughout the easter seaboard and beyond. taking off from washington, ray castro had a weekend of sightseeing planned. >> we were planning to go to buffalo to go up to niagara falls. they canceled the flight. >> reporter: amber craig almost took off under the gun -- almost. >> they just told us that our flight was canceled. they started boarding us and within about a minute or so, they said, the flight's been
canceled. we need you to get your bags and head out. >> reporter: more than 4,500 flights were canceled due to the blizzard hitting the northeast. united airlines is canceling 900-plus flights over two days, affecting 31 airports. we got access inside united's brand-new network operations center in chicago. jim deyoung, one of its managers, took us through. >> the airplanes need to be de-iced. the airfield needs to be cleaned, the ramp areas, taxiways need to be cleaned as well. >> reporter: meteorologists work the weather maps. there's even a bridge where the division heads coordinate schedules and operations, work with flight dispatch and incident response teams. how do they work so many cancellations at once? >> we do have what we call operations managers that handle the cancellations. so partnering with crew scheduling, we do a combination of manual and automated, depending on the size of the event. and that was how we tactically
pulled down the schedule, if you will. and then assure we have the flights as the operation resumes, that we have crews and aircraft in the appropriate places. >> reporter: multiply that interconnected routing system by several airlines and you've got traffic all over the u.s. and beyond affected by this storm. with an aviation analyst for the teal group, all these cancellations in the northeast don't affect just one region, right? >> it's far broader than that. nationwide, two types of impact on the traffic. one is point to point, for example, los angeles to new york, one of the biggest travel markets in the world. also down south to miami, north/south routes being an important travel market, too. but the route networks that the airlines depend upon out of atlanta or houston, for example, these are major markets that will no longer have so much traffic fed into them. >> reporter: he says the airlines are going to lose tens of millions of dollars this weekend, especially because so
many or the airports affected by this storm, like new york's jfk, boston logan and newark are international hubs as well. so the airlines are going to be losing those flights and the revenue that comes with them. wolf? >> brian, thanks very much. brian todd working the story over at reagan national. flights, even though they're canceled out here, there's the ripple effect all over the country. check with your airlines. thousands of superstorm sandy victims are bracing for the worst all over again. we're going live to staten island where one person told us he has nothing more to lose. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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we're continuing our coverage of the blizzard up in the upper left-hand part of your screen, you see boston. one of our vehicles driving through the streets of boston right now. on the left-hand side -- that's boston right there. it's only going to get worse over the next few hours. let's talk about what's going on in hartford, connecticut. joining us on the phone right now is the mayor of hartford, pedro segera.
what's happening in hartford right now? >> we have about 5 inches of snow already on the ground. we're getting into the intensity of the storm. we expect conditions to continue to deteriorate overnight. we have issued a traffic and parking ban in our city. trying to get all the cars off the streets. make sure that once the storm subsides, we'll be able to continue our plowing operations and dig out. >> are the folks paying attention? are they staying off the roads? >> for the most part, yes. the governor has issued the traffic ban in the state, even though we don't have one within the city, our residents are being pretty good in terms of staying off the roads. we hope people on the roads continue to get off the roads. >> ashleigh banfield is in connecticut. reported there's fear maybe a third of the people in connecticut could lose power as a result of this blizzard. is that what you're hearing?
>> well, we're expecting over 20 inches. in the past, we haven't fared too well in terms of power outages. we've had blanket outages throughout the state. in our city, we've been a little bit more fortunate. a lot of our infrastructure is beneath the ground. but we have an old tree canopy in our city that lends itself to a lot of downed trees when the winds and snow put weight on the trees. but we have our crews ready. we've been preparing now for about 2 1/2 days. so we're hopeful that we'll get our crew out there and continue to attack each and every problem as they arise. >> if you do lose power in some parts of hartford, i'm worried about the elderly, for example, maybe poorer families with young kids. have you made arrangements to help them? >> absolutely. we have our three emergency shelters that are ready to come into full gear if we need them. one of those shelters specifically to accommodate the elderly. we have our 911 service up and running. luckily for us, we just opened
up a brand-new state-of-the-art complex that houses both the fire, police and emergency telecommunications which gives us a much better ability to manage emergencies. all our crews are out there. we hope to continue to work together with our governor and our surrounding towns to make sure we recoup as soon as possibly. >> the governor said national guard troops are standing by as well. do you need any of them in hartford? >> not at this point. but when we get these events with a lot of precipitation in a city with a lot of wind drifts, it's very difficult to sort of manage the snow. so i assume that at some point post-storm we're going to have quite a task in terms of clearing out the snow. we might need help in that area. >> probably will. mayor, thanks very much. good luck to everyone in hartford. good luck to everyone suffering from this blizzard. >> thank you, sir. >> the mayor of hartford, connecticut. our next topic is going to be new york's staten island. it's one of the places that the
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thousands of superstorm sandy victims, they are bracing for the worst all over again. >> our mary snow is on staten island, which is already getting hit very hard. she's joining us now with that part of the story. mary, how are they preparing for this round of storms? >> reporter: well, you know, kate, the feeling is that it's like a punch in the gut to people who have been through so much and are struggling to recover. people here are bracing but there's just a general sense of disbelief that yet again in such a short amount of time, another
major storm is at their doorstep. snowstorms should be a time for nick to make money fixing snowblowers. but his repair business was destroyed by sandy and he's working out of a bad di damaged home. he can't afford another setback. >> as you can see, i got as far as i could trying to rebuild and i'm in week -- we're into week 15. 15 weeks of living in hell. and under these conditions, i couldn't bear another tidal surge or water coming into the house and causing any more problems than we already have. we've been through enough. >> reporter: we first met nick when sandy ravaged the first floor of his home and he refused to leave with his family. the toll, more than physical. nick tells us he suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder. his biggest struggle right now, he says, his emotions.
how big of a setback do you think this storm is, even if it doesn't do widespread damage? how big of a setback is it just in your psyche? >> i'm sorry. you know, you've got to just keep moving forward. one step at a time. you can't mess with mother nature. you don't know -- it may not -- at this point, i could weather any storm. there ain't no storm that i can't handle after this because you can't take anything more from me. so whatever it is, it is. i'm destroyed. i'm destroyed. >> reporter: not far away, steve comes to this tent. he comes for meals after he and his family were displaced. and he can't imagine anything more going wrong. >> to be honest with you, i'm becoming numb as far as any
weather-related issues. we don't have anything left to lose anymore. we lost everything. so i couldn't worry more about it. it's not going to help with anything. so just trying to stay strong and hopefully better days will come. >> reporter: people here are just hanging on to hope that staten island will be spared the brunt of this storm. and they are just hoping that this won't deliver a big setback to their efforts as they try to recover from sandy. wolf and kate? >> mary snow, that's so sad. obviously heart-wrenching story. >> i think one of the men she spoke with, what he said is so powerful and so sad, he said, i'm only numb to it. i imagine so many people are feeling that way trying to come back from sandy. in just a minute, we're going to get the latest on the storm. right now, chad myers is standing by. ♪
these are live pictures from boston right now where the snow is coming down. this blizzard is only just beginning. the next several hours are going to be critical. no one is supposed to be on the road right now. we have a camera in that vehicle but we have permission to do that. nobody is allowed to be driving unless it's an emergency vehicle. >> definitely, if you don't have to, you don't need us to tell yous, don't get stuck on one of those roads and be in deep, deep trouble. our severe weather expert is tracking the storm for us, joining us from the cnn weather center. chad, what's the latest? how much longer is this going to continue? >> for some like boston it could continue for 18 to 24 hours. >> wow. >> for new york, we're going to get a little break in between the next band. we're in a dry area where the air is not that moist and the
wrap-around's not quite to it. if you look at boston, the wind picking up in than tuck ankle, a wind gust over 50 miles per hour. looking at long island power authority, go on to lipa website, you can see they have over 5,000 customers without power on long island since the beginning of this storm. this storm is over for buffalo, for youngstown, youngstown, new york, over a foot of snow. burlington, just about ready to slide out of your area. there's so much more to come for the people here just winding up the storm right there. it's almost the center of circulation like you'd see in a tropical storm. like our fingers and arms and outer bands come from a tropical storm. but what we're watching is the very heavy snow moving into boston proper. it was that blue area over there, then over plymouth, now about ready to get into boston proper. providence, hartford, just about ready to get to hartford, a couple of lightning strikes through there.
we talked about there could be thunder snow, now we know there is thunder snow. we lightning bolts on this map over brook haven. if you see it, it flashes, you don't know what that was, is that a power failure? all of a sudden you hear the boom. and it is kind of a muffled boom. but it's out there. thunder snow tonight means there's so much air going up and down, shear coming in, like using your feet with leather shoes, put example it on the carpet and turning your brother. you can get a good shock. that's how mother nature does it. 23 million people right now in blizzard warnings and still more to come. probably 2 to 3 more inches in new york city before it's all done. >> we'll watch it together with you, chad. coming up, our planet is in for a close encounter next week. an as trade half the size of a football field. anything to worry about? we'll show you what to expect next. tom foreman standing by.
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>> thankfully it's not as scary as it sounds but this asteroid will get unusually close to us one week from today. tom foreman is in the virtual studio breaking it down. tom, what's going on this time? >> kate, this is a very close encounter in a cosmic sense. let me give you some reference points. this is in fact the closest encounter that nasa has ever seen since they've been tracking things of this size. when we think about the earth we think about the moon as being something that's close to us and we imagine it being about like this. but this is not correct. it's depicted this way many times in artwork. it's in fact very far away. almost 250,000 miles away. what is close to us? satellites. we've been launching these things for decades now. we filled the skies with them. the highest ones out there are in fact about 22,000 miles up above the earth. those are the ones that we largely use for our cell phones, communications, gps systems. so, how close is this asteroid going to come? it is going to come streaking
out of the sky and cut right through the top of our satellite systems at about 17,000 miles. so 22,000 miles is the top, 17,000 miles is where this thing, is that dangerous? not really. mainly because of the size of it. sounds big to us but it's quite small in space terms. the official name of this thing is 2012da14, a lyrical name. it is about 50 yards long or wide. it will be traveling close to 18,000 miles an hour. a lot of things in space travel that fast. and if it were to hit the earth, it would explode with the force of more than 2 million tons of dynamite. that still would not be enough to do a whole lot of damage. yes, it would wipe out several hundred miles but it wouldn't damage the whole earth. the bottom line on all of this is it's not going to hit earth and they know it because they've been tracking it for more than 2
million miles before it reached here. they know it's going to go by. but it is going to be on february 15th, the day after vin valentines date. so be extra-generous just in case. >> if that were to hit a populated area it would be a disaster. >> it's going to go over the indian ocean, near sumatra, it's not going near major population centers. but yeah, if it hit a city, it would be a huge, huge impact. the truth is we have these things fly by us all the time. not this size but the day could come when we could have a visitor. >> what did you say? how long have they been tracking this one for? >> for more than 2 million miles. spotted way off in space out there, and in fact, you will not be able to see it with your naked eye. but if you had a pretty good telescope, you would be able to see a pinpoint of light passing by on february 15th. >> keep it a pinpoint of light, it never needs to get any closer